Lack of Well-Paid Jobs Fuels Underemployment Crisis

Tech and healthcare only fields showing promise

worried businesswoman...
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Feeling underworked or underpaid? You're not alone. Nearly half the country feels that way and while the economy is said to be turning around, the types of jobs and the rates they pay definitely vary by industry.

"Underemployment is a real concern for today's job seekers as the economic recovery continues to be sluggish," says Katie Bardaro, Lead Economist, PayScale. "Hiring in many industries remains below expectations and unless you are in certain high-demand fields like technology or health care, well-paying job opportunities are simply not plentiful."

According to PayScale's new report Underemployment: Overeducated, Underpaid, and Underworked, 40 percent of workers feel underemployed and eight in 10 of these say being underpaid is the most common reason.

Gen Y (born between 1982 and 2002) are the most underemployed generation, at 45 percent, but they are the least likely (at 77 percent) to say it's because they're underpaid.

By degree, Liberal Arts, Psychology, and English Language & Literature are the three majors with the highest percentage of workers who claim to be underemployed because they are not using their education/training. These majors all have more than 70 percent female graduates.

Significantly, 48 percent of female workers say they are underemployed, compared to 39 percent of men.

"Underemployment is clearly a broader issue than the strict definition by the Bureau of Labor Statistics which defines it as settling for part-time work when seeking full-time work," Bardaro adds.

Underemployment

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